Netflix Is Testing Commercials for Subscribers. Here's How You Can Opt Out.
Over the weekend, Netflix users reported seeing advertisements in the midst of their binge extravaganzas. The short videos aren't commercials for Ricola and Irish Spring, but specifically for shows streaming on Netflix.
Some users claimed in a discussion on Reddit that they were served the ads between episodes of the show they were watching and were unable to skip through them. Others said they saw a "skip" button available during the promotional videos. It turns out, this is a test run, and is not guaranteed to become a Netflix staple.
"We are testing whether surfacing recommendations between episodes helps members discover stories they will enjoy faster," Netflix told Ars Technica. The streaming giant also noted all users should be shown a "skip" button when they see an advertisement. Moreover, the videos aren't random but are personalized recommendations based on the viewer's tastes. The ads should be exclusively for Netflix original content and not shows or movies licensed from other networks, a Netflix spokesperson said. However, one user on Reddit claims they were served an ad for Better Call Saul, which is not a Netflix original.
Nonetheless, people were frustrated by the sudden appearance and many took to social media to voice their, uh, let's say displeasure.
A spokesperson told CNN that Netflix tests hundreds of features annually and most are left on the cutting room floor. However, that's clearly not much comfort to anyone incensed by the sudden appearance of advertisements on their pay subscription service. If you fall into that category, here's how you can opt out of the test group.
There's a way to access this feature through settings -- one of many Netflix hacks you should be using -- but you can go right to the page by navigating to Netflix.com/DoNotTest. The page features little more than a toggle switch. If you turn it off, a customer service rep tells Thrillist, you won't be served ads during the test.
However, if there are other test features you hope to glimpse before your friends, this will turn off those features as well. By flipping the switch off, you're turning off all features tests and previews from the streaming service.
Now you can resume catching up on Dear White People, ad-free.